Laguna Seca: SunTrust Racing race report

SunTrust Team Collects Fourth and Valuable Points in the Road and Track 250 at Laguna Seca Laguna Seca, California (May 1, 2005) -The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team just missed a podium finish at the Road and Track 250 at Mazda Raceway...

SunTrust Team Collects Fourth and Valuable Points in the Road and Track 250 at Laguna Seca

Laguna Seca, California (May 1, 2005) -The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team just missed a podium finish at the Road and Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, when they were fourth in the 97-lap, two hour-and-forty-five minute race. Race winners were Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz in the No.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley.

The SunTrust team continues to lead the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype championship with 130 points. The race winning No. 01 CompUSA team narrowed the margin slightly with their 35-point gain and now trail the SunTrust team by just ten points. The No. 4 Howard-Boss Pontiac Crawford team of Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson is third in points with 111.

Today's race was filled with numerous accidents and had six cautions for a total of 22 laps, including the final lap when the race ended under caution. The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Mk.XI was involved in three racing incidents and the car looks like it has been through a demolition derby.

Taylor and Angelelli worked their way up the charts from their tenth-place starting position, but were hindered by a drive-through penalty on Lap 51. An on-track hit from the No. 77 Crown Royal Lexus Doran resulted in penalties to both cars and the loss of valuable time. An earlier incident happened on Lap 7 when a spinning car collided with the SunTrust Pontiac while Wayne Taylor was at the wheel. It caused a scare to the team and fairly massive body damage, but did not result in a pit stop. A third incident caused another fright when Angelelli had to drive over the corner ripple strips to avoid a wayward car and the nose of the car became slightly dislodged, but alright to complete the race. The team was disappointed by the occurrences.

"It was a disappointing result because we definitely had a car to be in the top three and we really got an unnecessary drive-through (penalty), which I think cost us the race," said car owner/driver Wayne Taylor.

"Championship points are important," said Max "The Ax" Angelelli. "I think we all need to understand that it is a three-hour race. It is not a single lap race. I think it is unnecessary to be taken away because of stupidity. I am very sick and tired to lose points, to lose the car, because of stupidity coming from other drivers. This must be addressed and addressed quickly."

It was a tough race," added SunTrust team owner/manager Bill Riley. "We knew coming in it would be. We wanted to have a good finish. We had a horrible day and still finished fourth, so that's not too bad."

"It was another great day for the No. 10 car," said Craig Kelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, SunTrust Bank. "I think Wayne and Max ought to feel great about the job they did today and driving the car with the stiff competition. They were always in the hunt and ended up in a very respectable fourth-place position and still leading in the points. So, it isn't over yet."

The next Grand American race is the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant near Montreal, Quebec, Canada on May 19-21.

-suntrustracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Elliott Forbes-Robinson